On Friday, fellow ITS writer Kevin Brady opined that playing Tony Romo in today's “meaningless” game in Philadelphia would be a mistake. While I appreciate his logic and reasoning, I am on the other side of this issue. I think there is plenty to be gained by Romo playing and it's all about his trade value.
There seems to be a prevailing notion that the Cowboys are putting Romo's trade value in jeopardy by playing him today. That is predicated on the belief that he has value without playing, and this is where my opinion differs from many. I think Romo's potential value, site unseen, has been greatly overestimated.
When Tony Romo went down last August against the Seahawks, the general feeling was that he could no longer take an NFL hit. That went away with time, and as the Cowboys had success under Dak Prescott the optimism started to flow back into the fanbase. In what's been a magical season for Dallas, fans started wanting to sprinkle some fairy dust on Romo and see him lead the team to glory in true Disney-movie fashion.
Once the offseason begins, the time for magic and narrative will be over. Teams will get back to cold, hard business and Romo will be picked apart by any potential suitor. Facts are facts; his recent track record isn't all that attractive.
The last image of Romo on a field was lying on the ground after getting crunched by a Seahawks defender. It was the third play of the dress rehearsal game, the closest thing to real football he's played since Thanksgiving of 2015.
In that last regular season game he played against the Panthers, Romo barely completed half his passes and threw three interceptions. He had returned the previous week against Miami and looked solid, but still not like his old self.
Even before the 2015 injury, Romo wasn't as sharp as past years. A late rally saved him in Week One against the Giants but he looked bad throughout the early part of the game. He was more efficient the following week against the Eagles before getting hurt, but even then he was missing his dynamic quality.
The truth of the matter is that Romo hasn't looked like a franchise QB since the 2014 season. And now, in 2017, there's this expectation that teams will be willing to give up a significant draft pick to add him to their roster.
Is that really reasonable?
If you're afraid that Tony Romo might hurt his value by playing today, consider the alternative. You're the general manager of a team who might be interested in him. The last things you have to go by are the 2015 tapes and what happened to him during preseason. Oh, and he turns 37 in April.
You're still this potential GM. You see that the Cowboys didn't even play Romo today. What are they afraid of? Why wouldn't you want him to get some reps before the playoffs? That's how teams treat their backup QBs, even if they're veterans.
You may start to wonder, “what do the Cowboys know that we don't? What are they trying to pull over on us?”
Fear is dangerous and infectious. If the Cowboys handle Romo as if they're afraid of what might happen, that fear will trickle into the minds of any potential trade partners.
Bottom line; his trade value right now is probably not what you think it is.
And if Romo doesn't play today, it may drop even more…
You can't play scared in business or sports. There are times when caution is costly and it often comes when someone overestimates their position. The Cowboys could easily be the beggars and not the choosers when trying to move Tony Romo this offseason.
Romo playing today could blow up in Dallas' face. However, I argue that there isn't nearly as much to lose as many believe. Conversely, I believe there is plenty to be gained.